Why I joined the Erasmus Student Network — and why should you join, too!
Joining a student associations is a great way to find friends and the sense of community - just what every international student needs when coming to a new university in a new country. Our blogger Michael chose Erasmus Student Network and she has only good words for them!
The VU is full of student and study associations, but since the very start of my studies in Amsterdam, I gravitated to just one: the Erasmus Student Network, or ESN. As a student association, ESN isn’t associated with any study program or faculty, and although “Erasmus” is in the name, the group is for all students at the VU no matter where they come from. ESN has been fundamental to my student experience at the university, and I want to share my excitement with you.
So, as a happy ESN member, I’ll tell you why should you join ESN, too:
The sense of community. When I arrived in the Netherlands in August 2020, it was very difficult to meet people outside of my degree program – and it became even more difficult when the country went into lockdown. Thanks to ESN, I could meet loads of other students, even virtually, and ESN is full of friendly, caring people. The community is exactly what I needed when I moved to Amsterdam… and what I still need to this day! If you want to join ESN, we have office hours every week during term and event-packed introduction weeks at the beginning of each semester. Come find us!
The opportunity to gain leadership experience. ESN has a wide variety of opportunities for students to gain professional skills and leadership experience alongside their studies. Last year, I was on the cultural events committee, coordinating activities for students with a focus on sharing Dutch culture with internationals. This year, I’m a board member, which has pushed me to refine my interpersonal, time management, event coordination, and business negotiation skills. We’re starting recruitment for next year’s board soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing the enthusiastic people who apply.
Having fun! One of the core goals of ESN is to foster a sense of community among students by creating activities and spaces where they can meet new people and have fun together. (I can say this with confidence as the social events manager!) From sports outings, international holidays, and museum trips and to big parties and our signature weekly club night at Coco’s Outback, we have activities to suit every person’s wants and needs. We’re always looking for new people with new ideas about how we can make our association even more fun for everyone participating!
If you’re looking for friends, fun, or even professional development, then the Erasmus Student Network might be a great choice for you. I know it was – and still is – the best choice for me. We welcome everyone, and we’d love to welcome you, too!
Until the next blog,